Editors Note: Today’s post is from Staff Writer Bethany Suckrow and is a beautiful story about the importance of God’s grace to nourish our souls.
I always go a day too long without watering it.
From my usual spot in the corner chair of my living room one evening, I looked up from my computer screen, bleary-eyed after hours of writing, and blinked at the coffee table.
There was my peace lily, slumped in a terrifying wilt, its leaves prostrate. And as my habit has become over the three months since I got it, I rushed over with my glass of water and doused the plant as though it had caught fire. I waited breathlessly, half hoping it would spring to life right then and there. It didn’t, and eventually I left it alone, frustrated with myself. When I glanced at it again the next morning, it was thriving again, stems vertical, leaves cascading gracefully as if to say,
“See? I’m fine now. Thanks for the drink.”
It’s a very forgiving plant.
My aunt insisted I take the peace lily from the abundance of botanicals given to us when my mom passed away, but I didn’t understand why.
“It’ll be good for you,” she said.
A plant? In my tiny little apartment? Good for me, how? (What about the plant’s well being?)
I took it, but I felt a little uncertain, sure that I would kill it by accidental neglect. I just didn’t trust myself to keep it alive (clearly for good reason.) In my confusing sense of “logic,” that perplexes even myself sometimes, I believed that it would be easier to care for a puppy than a plant. If the thing can’t talk or even bark, how do I know when to feed it? I do not pretend to know the subtleties of plant communication.
And yet. Three months later, I think my peace lily and I are finally starting to understand each other.
A kindredness has formed, even when I neglect it. I’ve begun to recognize the tell-tale signs of thirst as its leaves wrinkle around the edges and slowly lose their perk after a few days.
“Water me please.”
This silent conversation between us echoes the one that I have with myself often, the one I have when I’m at my wits end, when my grief is at its deepest, when nothing feels right, when my relationship with God feels lifeless.
I don’t know why, but I’ve had a lot of those moments lately. Sometimes my soul feels wilted, prostrate on the ground, starved for Grace.
I make all sorts of excuses for this – how busy I am with a full-time job, my blog, my Etsy shop, my work with Prodigal, and all the trappings of everyday life. I lose myself in it all until I am starved and desperate.
How did I let it get to this point?
I ask, and bend my knees in prayer. A last resort. A douse of water to put out the fire when things get out of control.
God is ever present, but our relationship – the one thing in my life that is rooted in peace – withers when I preoccupy myself with anything but His Grace.
It is when I make Him a priority that I realize what a little prayer can do for peace.